5 Weeks ‘Til FOT 2013

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Welcome to the near-end of summer everyone…

You know, it’s hard to believe I’ll be 17 next month. Wow! Seems like just a little while ago I was 12 or 13, looking up at the 17 year-olds thinking they were so cool and now I’ll be one. 🙂
Well, I forgot to mention in my last posts that we went to a Building 429/Rhett Walker Band/Finding Favour. It was pretty cool, though I have to say that live music is difficult to enjoy when your ears hurt from the ringing.

You know what’s cool about this linking videos from Youtube is that it doesn’t count towards my storage space on WordPress. I’m glad because I can use that saved space for pics like these: Meeting Michael Anderson and Jason Roy from Building 429 at their first concert of their first headline tour
DSC05139 DSC05140

Sorry about the image quality, our camera’s a bit temperamental. I got more with the videocamera, but they will go in a collage.
Someday they’ll get put up 🙂 I actually want to put together a summer-memories gallery at the end of the season before FOT 2013. You know, this year has gone so fast, yet, you learn so much that stays with you for the rest of your life.

I am amazed at how quickly the weather changed. Just this week we started waking up to cooler weather and it already feels like the Feast Of Tabernacles. 🙂 I guess that’s good because it starts next month. Yay!

I’m surprised I didn’t post this sooner, but we have released a new song called ” Gratefully Yours.”

Also, the live videos from the Family Builder’s Conference 2013 are up on the web. Here’s the links:

And…………………………………………Ha, you’re expecting something really great, aren’t you? Good, because here it is: A cover by our great friend Hannah:

Her vocals are great!! 😉

Hey, a media-filled update from the PFY band, a couple months late. Hey, at least I can say I have been busy working on music, computers, and schoolwork. Oh, and I fit in some other things like rigging, cooking, reading, and the like. I can definitely say I am glad for the Sabbath.
Hope you all had a great one!

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Zucchini Lasagna

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The memory of my first taste of zucchini lasagna still lingers. Somehow the slimy, slightly mushy vegetable couldn’t make up for the lack of starchy noodle goodness, though I couldn’t figure out why the sauce and cheese tasted so good compared to “normal” lasagna. After a while though, the taste grew on me until eventually I almost prefer it to “the other stuff.” 😉 I still miss the noodles, but my theory is that when zucchini cooks, the juice flavors the lasagna and keeps it moist during reheating, compared to noodles which soak up the moisture from the lasagna and leave it dry, and the hamburger tasting like metal.
(I know, how on earth do I know what metal tastes like? Believe me, I have no clue…)

So, if you’re on a gluten-free diet or just would like a healthier version of lasagna that’s almost addicting, I’d definitely recommend this recipe.

Zucchini Lasagna
Side Note: The amounts are approximant. I rarely measure, especially main meals.

1 lb. meat: ground turkey or hamburger

2 lg. cans tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce

1 lg. container cottage cheese: this is my ‘secret’ ingredient. Most use ricotta, but it’s too dry for me, I tend to use small curd to keep the physical resemblance, but large curd is ok too.  You can make it stretch with cream cheese(softened) if needed. After all, it’s about experimentation, right?

Shredded cheese, depends on how much you have. We normally use about 2 cups

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

3-5 zucchini, sliced lengthwise, 1/8-inch thick, you might need more, depending on size

2 eggs

Seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, whatever you prefer

Extra vegetables to bulk it up a little, maybe spinach, diced bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, depends on your tastes

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Brown the meat, using the seasoning to taste. Mix the meat and sauce and season it. Don’t worry if it’s a bit thick.
If you want to add extra veggies, mix in firm ones here.
Mix cottage cheese, cheeses, eggs and seasoning. Put spinach and the like in here. You may want to save some of the cheese for on top.

Pour about 1/4 of the meat sauce into a 9 x 13 glass baking pan. Place one layer of zucchini on the sauce and then a second layer in the opposite direction, creating a criss-cross pattern. This is to keep a noodle-esque shape to the zucchini as it cooks. If you don’t care about lasagna formalities, you can use just one layer and bake it into mush oblivion.
Spread about 1/3 of the cheese on top, and finish assembling the lasagna in the same order. Make sure to pour some sauce on top; if you ran out of meat sauce, just use some extra tomato or spaghetti sauce.

Sprinkle the saved cheese on top of everything and put into the oven on the middle rack.
Baking time varies on what your preference of tender is. You may bake it until barely tender to keep its form when reheating, or for a while to help the zucchini melt into the sauce and cheese.
When your lasagna is done, you might like to broil it just for a couple of minutes to get that pizza taste on top. Yum!

Yay 🙂 You’re all done! Serve yourself a nice large plate of delectable vegetable bake and enjoy. You might have to skip the salad and go back for seconds 😉

May Is Almost Over :)

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Wow, so I really intended to write during Unleavened Bread, but suddenly we started getting requests for gigs and we’ve just been so busy!

We’ve have had three major gigs during this month of May. There was a performance in Eldon, MO for Mid-Mo’s Church of G-d :”Super Sabbath;” and met some great people there. Then two weeks later was Shavuot, which we spent with the awesome people in Kansas (see photos here.) Our weekend in Kansas was really blessed. Perhaps you might remember a post I did about two years ago, mentioning the AWESOME time we had at the “Hebrew Roots Conference”. Well, this time was even better…which is like not really possible, but it really was great! 🙂 We got to stay in the house again , and our fellowship was, well, I can’t really describe it. It was one of those times where you really wish you didn’t have to go home because the people there are such a blessing, and you learn a lot from the messages. Daniel McGirr (from Wisdom In Torah) was the guest speaker, and his teachings were excellent. I’m really glad we were able to attend and bless the people there with our music. What’s more, we know Yahweh’s hand was definitely in all of this because a lot of people were leaving when the tornadoes started forming on Sunday in Kansas and Oklahoma, and we all were blessed with safety.

And what do you know, just the next weekend was the Family Builder’s Conference 2013, hosted by YAIM in Rocheport, MO. This gig was probably the one I was most nervous about because we were performing two original songs we’ve hadn’t played in public before, and they also happened to be the most difficult. Praise be to Yahweh, our performance turned out much better than the practices. 😉   It was really cool that we were able to touch so many people at one time, especially with what’s happened recently in the news, and it goes to show the miracles that can happen with prayer. The assembly was packed, and the messages that were given really blessed everyone there, even those who haven’t started a family yet, like me! 😉 Last but definitely not least, we finally got to meet and hear Left Lane Closing, a Sacred Name band from Cisco, TX, who we opened for. It was totally awesome.

(Hm, I think I need to learn some synonyms for awesome, great, and wonderful…
How about: spectacular,  astounding,  out of this world,  far out, groovy? Nope, not quite)

Well, if that wasn’t busy enough, we also made two trips to SAY, in IL and visited friends somewhere near Stockton, MO in the middle of nowhere. 🙂
You know, we’ve been really blessed to be able to travel and share our music with others. I pray we can continue to share our talents and bless those around us.

Until the next time I find time to write, Shalom
Micaela Rae

P.S. To check out pictures from our various trips, visit: http://praisesforyahweh.org/Gallery.html

Happy New Year!!

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Hey everyone,
I hope you all have had a great winter. Ours hasn’t decided when to go yet, so Friday was 70+ degrees, while today brings “freezing rain.” What made this weekend really special though was a visit from a friend in the faith. You know, when you keep Shabbat at home frequently, you tend to appreciate Yahweh sending someone to fellowship with you more.
With that thought, the days leading up were a flurry of cleaning and cooking. Earlier this week we painted our bathroom and stairway area a new color, and I promptly decided I’ll have a professional do my house later on. 🙂 It’s amazing how many different foam rollers there are though. Seemingly for every type of painting they make a roller.
Anyways, it was awesome having him over for Shabbat. Praise Yahweh that we were able to  visit together for a while, going over Scripture, sharing meals, and learning about the people in Africa.

I got my driver’s permit in January, so I have been practicing to get my 40 hours required for a intermediate license in July/August. For a long time, I was terrified to drive. I was so afraid of the responsibility that comes with driving a vehicle larger than a golf cart; Abby, you know what I mean. 😉 Seriously, I can really hurt someone while driving, and that scared me since I was old enough to get a driver’s permit, in September 2011. One day though, I realized I actually was ready to start learning, and started studying the book in preparation for my test.
I still have my reservations with driving, which is probably good in some ways, so I won’t be inclined to “reckless driving,” hopefully. Still, others my age have a lot more experience driving (looking at you, Chelsea, oh driver of large farm equipment) 😛

Also in ‘The Avalos News,’ we recently released a song called “Count On You.”
(mentioned in my last post)
Hannah and I were brainstorming ideas for a new song, and an idea I’d had floating around came to my mind – I’ll raise my hands in the twilight, give thanks in the darkest of nights. That became the lead-in for the chorus, and Hannah single-handedly write most of the song to my chord structure. I believe the title really explains the meaning behind it, knowing we can count on Yahweh, and prayerfully you will be blessed by it.
Here’s the link:

Passover is quickly coming upon us, and I intend to write more soon.
Until then,
Shalom from Central MO

Youth Day, Rock Falls IL

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Hey guys, and gals 🙂

I wanted to write about the awesome time we had in IL last weekend. Our family attended Shalom Assembly of Yahweh and it just happened to be Youth Day; YAY!
What’s great besides the fact that you get to eat breakfast for lunch on Youth Day (…YUM…), is that the male youth lead services, read Torah and give messages. It really is wonderful to see youth stepping up to fill the roles adults usually play.
Praise Yahweh that S.A.Y. is so blessed to have talented young men that are well versed in the Scriptures, and it was an honor to play music with them.

During services we also presented our new song “Count On You.” I (and we as a band) really appreciate getting feedback for the music we write to help gauge what people perceive as blessed. Prayerfully we will be able to release it soon for everyone to hear.

Here are the pictures from  IL: I thought it was cold when we left Mo, but I didn’t know what cold was until it snowed on Shabbat in IL. Brrrr…..

http://praisesforyahweh.org/PhotoAlbum/YouthDay2013/index.html

We are actively editing these as we go, so they might look different soon.

Hopefully everyone is doing well, and staying warm, or cool, whatever your preference.

Shalom,
Micaela Rae
micaela@praisesforyahweh.org

!!Blog Spotlight!!   If you think I don’t update fast enough (I agree with you there), check out Nivi’s blog @
http://foryahsglory.blogspot.com/

She has an awesome blog and great reads. Did I mention I really like the photography?? 🙂

Obedience – A Story

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Here’s a story I wrote a little while ago for the kids page (:  Enjoy!!

Ryan and Zeke had always been told to stay away from the abandoned shed. “It’s very dangerous!” their parents had told them. However, when curious boys are told to stay away from something, that’s exactly where they go when no one’s watching; and that’s how Ryan found himself with a broken leg one Monday morning.

    “Ryan, Zeke, come here please!” Mom and Dad called from the house. Ryan and Zeke quickly ran in from a game of tag and found their parents getting dressed up. “What’s the occasion?” asked Ryan.
“Your mother and I are going to visit some friends for a while,” his dad answered, busily fixing his tie.
“Since you have been such good kids, we are going to leave you two by yourselves for a while.”
“Awesome!” Zeke cheered. He looked at Ryan, who was trying not to smile. Their parents chuckled.
     “Ryan, since you are older, you will be in charge. That means you are responsible for your actions and for your brother,” their mom told them. “Cool!” said Ryan. “What should we do first?”
“Let’s get going, dear,” said Dad. “We have a long drive. Kids, remember, don’t do anything you wouldn’t want Yahweh to see.” “Yes Dad,” the boys chorused. They watched their parents get in the car and back out of the driveway. “We love you,” Mom called as they drove away.
     Ryan and Zeke held their breath until Mom and Dad disappeared from view. “Whew! Let’s find something to do,” said Zeke as they walked back inside. The boys looked around the house, already bored. “Hey! Remember that shed out in the woods?” Ryan asked Zeke. “Yeah, what about it?” Zeke replied, searching for a snack.
“Well, since Mom and Dad are gone, I think this is a good time to explore, don’t you think?” Ryan looked at his brother meaningly. Zeke stared at Ryan incredulously. “You can’t be serious, Ryan. Mom and Dad have told us many times not to go there.”
“Oh, what could possibly be dangerous about a shed; a few spiders, maybe some lizards? Are YOU scared?”
 Zeke looked at the floor. “Well, no, I guess you’re right,” he said. “What is the harm in a shed? Let’s go!” Ryan grinned as they raced out the door. “That’s the spirit!”
     Zeke and Ryan crept up to the door of the abandoned shed, suddenly afraid someone might see them. “Are you going to open the door?” asked Zeke, looking at his big brother. “I guess,” Ryan shrugged, and slowly pushed it open. Both brothers flinched as the door creaked wildly, and then stared in wonderment at the mess before them.
“Wow, this is so cool! I wonder why Mom and Dad never let us come here,” said Ryan as he climbed over old farm equipment and musty hay. Zeke didn’t answer. He was too busy climbing a stack of wires to get to the hayloft. “Hey bro, give me a lift here, would ya?” he called to his brother.
“Sure.” Ryan went to help his brother up, but as he walked, his foot bumped a large piece of wood stacked against the wall. Ryan fell to the floor, and Zeke watched in horror as the wood fell on his brother’s leg, causing him to scream loudly. Zeke quickly scrambled down the wire and tried to lift the board off Ryan’s leg, but it was too heavy. Ryan was sobbing loudly in pain.
“Ryan! Ryan!” Zeke yelled, shaking his brother’s shoulder. “What do you want me to do?”
Ryan looked at his brother, confused, before he understood what Zeke was asking.
“Quick, go get someone to help you.” he told Zeke. Zeke stood, then turned around, suddenly scared. “What if Mom and Dad find out? Won’t we get in trouble?”
“It’s too late now,” Ryan groaned. “Now, I really need to get this board off my leg, trouble or not.”
“Yes, of course!” said Zeke. He dashed out the door, eager to find help for his older brother.
     Zeke ran to the door of his neighbor’s house and pounded wildly on it. “Hello, hello! Is anyone home?” he yelled. Mr. Reynolds, his neighbor, opened the door. “Yes, what’s the noise –oh- what is it, Zeke?” he asked.
Zeke breathed hard. “My brother, he’s in the shed. We were playing and a board fell on his leg and now he’s really hurt. Can you help, please?” Mr. Reynolds looked surprised. “In the shed, you say? Didn’t your parents tell you to stay away from there?” Zeke looked down at the porch, ashamed. “Yes, they did. Now I’m very sorry we went there. But please, won’t you help my brother?” he asked hopefully.
“Of course!” Mr. Reynolds grabbed his shoes and ran with Zeke back to the shed.
     Meanwhile…
The boys’ parents had come home early from their visit, and were disappointed to not find their sons in the house. Mom and Dad walked around the house calling their names, but disappointment quickly turned to fear when the boys did not appear. “Let’s go ask Mr. Reynolds if he’s seen them,” Dad suggested. Both parents ran quickly to his house and knocked on the door, but Mr. Reynolds did not appear. However, Mrs. Reynolds opened the door, surprised to see them.
“Mrs. Reynolds, have you seen the boys recently?” Mom asked.
“No, I haven’t seen them. But I believe I heard Zeke’s voice not too long ago, saying something about a shed and his brother. He sounded mighty scared though, and my husband went with him without saying goodbye,” Mrs. Reynolds replied.
“The shed??!!” Mom’s hand flew to her throat and she turned pale. “We best be going there right now! Thank you for your help, Mrs. Reynolds.” Dad and Mom dashed away, leaving Mrs. Reynolds waving forlornly.

     Mr. Reynolds walked up to Ryan, crying softly but still in pain. “Ryan, are you doing okay?” he asked, kneeling down next to him. “I think so.” Ryan wiped his eyes. “But my leg hurts really bad and I can’t feel it very much.”
Mr. Reynolds looked concerned, then his eyes traveled to the board still laying on Ryan’s leg. He tried to lift it, but it was too heavy even for him. That was when Mom and Dad showed up.
Mom rushed to Ryan’s side, sobbing. “Oh my poor baby, we were so worried about you two.” Zeke ran to his mother’s embrace, and then his eye caught Ryan’s. They both knew it was time for an apology.
“Mom, Dad, we’re so sorry for disobeying you. We know it was wrong, and you are probably very mad at us now,” said Ryan, speaking for himself and Zeke. Mom looked at Dad, who grunted as he helped Mr. Reynolds lift the board off Ryan’s leg. Then he knelt down besides Mom.
“I believe Yahweh himself has punished you for your disobedience,” Dad answered, looking carefully at Ryan. “Yes, we both are very upset, but we are also thankful that it was only your pride and a leg that got hurt; nothing more. Neither of you will be getting privileges for a while though. We will have to decide when you are responsible again.”
Ryan and Zeke nodded solemnly, relieved that thunder and lightning did not rain down on them for disobeying. However, both boys knew exactly how wrong they were to disobey their parents, and they were sure it wasn’t going to happen again for a long while.

The next day…
The whole family walked into the house, just getting home from the hospital. The doctor had told Ryan that he had a broken leg. The treatment: six weeks of rest and a cast to help set the leg correctly.
Dad gestured for the boys to sit down before speaking:
“Zeke, as you know, your brother has 6 weeks of rest, meaning no playing outside, wrestling, or anything like that. Your mother and I decided that you should stay with your brother and entertain him, instead of going out to play. That will be your punishment for disobeying us, since your brother has already had his, in the form of a broken leg. I hope you will think about your actions and make better decisions next time. In the meantime, I believe there is someone you need to thank for helping you two.”
Zeke and Ryan looked at each other, extremely confused, before suddenly lighting up. “Mr. Reynolds! We haven’t thanked him yet!”
“Yes, that’s the one,” said their Dad, smiling. “I think you should start putting your heads together for ideas.”
Zeke and Ryan high-fived each other, and each pulled out paper to plot their ideas for a thank-you party.
After all, great minds think alike, sometimes!!
The End
 

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